"It looks like he did it," Mr. Munn replied.
" It sure looks that way now," Joe Means said, and laughed.
"One less nigger, that's what I always say. What I say is,
just get you a good lawyer and he'll find you a good nigger
to hang it on, all right. That's why I say." And Holt reached
out to prod Mr. Munn in the ribs with a blunt, brotherly
motion, inviting him to join the laughter.
Mr. Munn did not laugh. He looked at the man's round,
loose face and the open, gold-tooth-studded mouth, from
which the snorts of laughter came, and thought, My God, he
looks exactly like Joe Means, he might be Joe Means's
brother; the town's full of them. Then he realized that his
own face was set stiffly in an expression of amiability and
merriment. He glanced quickly at the mirror back of the
bar, and saw there his face grinning, a long, swarthy face,
with dark eyes, and with the grinning lips drawn back over
the long teeth.
"He had the knife," Mr. Munn said coldly, swinging away
from the image in the mirror toward the men. "And the
" You bet," Joe Means exclaimed. " You sure hung it on
"And you didn't have to, either," Holt said; "but I always
say it never hurts nobody to take pains." He prodded Mr.
Munn in the side again. "And you didn't have to, to get
your man off, not with all them Association men on the jury,
My God, they'd hang a jury all week to get your man off.
That's what I was saying, that feller was a gone gosling, but
hell, I said, not with all them Association men on the
Mr. Munn set his empty glass down on the bar, again
caught a glimpse in the mirror of his own face with its smile,
and with a full sweep of his arm smacked the man solidly
across the mouth. Taken entirely off his balance, the man
staggered back one step, and fell to the floor in a sitting
At the very instant when the blow landed, Mr. Munn was